Tuesday, April 28, 2009


In a word-broccoli denotes thoughts of healthy food with great medicinal benefits. In fact a new study from UCLA found that the compound sulforaphane found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables may help prevent respiratory inflammation and diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. How does this work? The compound seems to increase the production of enzymes in the airway that protect us from everyday pollution, smoke and other substance that cause tissue damage. Broccoli sprouts are the richest natural source of sulforaphane and in the study of 65 people who received varying doses, researchers found a two to three-fold increase in the anitoxidant enzymes that protect us.

The study was published in the March issue of Clinical Immunology.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Weighing the risk

Excess weight, no matter how it is measured is associated with increased risk for heart disease. Reducing body fat is hard but necessary. Find the help you need, support helps. Keep a journal, eat more vegetables and fiber and stay hydrated. Work up to exercising 6 hours a week and find friends to work out with because good habits are as contagious as are bad.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Friends and health

Researchers are paying attention to the importance of friendship and health. A 10-year Australian study found that older people with a large circle of friends were 22 percent less likely to die during the study period than those with fewer friends. Last year,a study from Harvard researchers reported that strong social ties may promote brain health as we age.
Yet, I am not happy with the kind of friend I am. Perhaps I am too picky and impatient to appreciate my friends. I have let too many friends go and I regret it now as I age and understand the difficulty in making friends. Friends keep us well and happy. We can have fun because friends are less judgmental and our relationships are not as complicated as family relationships. I am going to work on my friendships because I must be missing something and I want to find it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nutrition for the Athlete

True or False?

Consuming extra protein is necessary to build muscle mass. Contrary to claims of some protein supplement companies, consuming extra protein does nothing to bulk up muscle unless you are also doing significant weight training at the same time. Even then the increased requirement can easily come from food. A potential problem with supplements is the body has to work overtime to get rid of excess protein, and can become distressed as a result.

Eating immediately after a workout will improve recovery. Endurance athletes need to take in carbohydrates immediately after a workout to replace glycogen stores, and a small amount of protein with the drink enhances the effect. Drinking low-fat chocolate milk or a carbohydrate drink, like Gatorade, is better for the body, as they replace glycogen stores lost during exercise. Protein is not going to help build muscle, so strength athletes do not need to eat immediately following their workout.

Eating carbohydrates makes you fat. Cutting carbs from your diet may have short-term weight loss benefits due to water loss from a decrease in carbohydrate stores, but eating carbs in moderation does not directly lead to weight gain. The body uses carbs for energy, and going too long without them can cause lethargy.

Drink eight, 8-oz. glasses of water per day. You should replace water lost through breathing, excrement and sweating each day – but that doesn’t necessarily total 64 ounces of water. It’s hard to measure the exact amount of water you have consumed daily in food and drink, but if your urine is pale yellow, you’re doing a good job. If it’s a darker yellow, drink more H2O.

Are nutrition needs of an athlete different?
It may surprise you to learn that in many ways, your nutritional requirements aren't much different from a student who has chosen to be less active. You both have the same needs for a variety of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, about the same requirements for fat, and surprisingly, your need for protein is only slightly higher as an athlete than that of the non-athlete. One important nutritional difference you have as an athlete is that carbohydrate needs are generally much higher. "Carbs" are the body's most efficient energy source. Without adequate carbohydrate sources in the diet, an athlete will "hit the wall" very quickly. If your sport or physical activity patterns require a more calories, you can eat more from all the food groups, and may even have extra room for foods usually thought of as empty calorie like desserts, soda, higher sugar granola bars.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dear President Obama

Dear President Obama,
We need a public health campaign to encourage Americans to improve fitness and lose weight. The obesity epidemic is a primary public health threat now. According to a study published in the July 2008 online issue of Obesity, most adults in the U.S. will be overweight or obese by 2030, with related health care spending projections as high as $956.9 billion, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. the trend lines has never faltered. It keeps rising year after year.
National leadership is necessary to ensure the participation of health officials and researchers, educators and legislators, transportation experts and urban planners, and businesses and nonprofit groups in developing and carrying out a public health campaign with a chance of success.
This has been done successfully before with smoking cessation. The template is set, we now need leadership.
Will you help?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Health and friendship

The more friends we have the better our health and Tara Parker Pope writes about it well in her article in the nyt.
What Are Friends for? A Longer Life
It seems that the more friends we have the longer we live and the better our health outcomes. I am convinced. My friend Allison has cancer for the 4th time and yesterday our group of eight, met, cried, cooked and laughed. This appears to be the best medicine we could offer and ParkerPope points to research to support my claims.
Friends are better than family it seems and maybe because you can reinvent yourself ignoring childish flaws and foibles.
So friends, thanks you add time to my life.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

How trytophan induces sleepiness

The foods I recommend for bedtime snacks contain a combination of protein and carbohydrates that make tryptophan more available to the brain. Tryptophan produces serotonin and melatonin, sleep inducing neurotransmitters.

Tryptophan, an amino acid in many plant and animal proteins is one of the ingredients needed to make serotonin.

* Tryptophan is an excellent natural sedative.

* Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that creates feelings of calm and sleepiness.

The trick is to combine foods with some tryptophan and ample carbs.
Since, all amino acids compete for transport to the brain adding carbohydrates increases the release of insulin, which transports other amino acids into muscles.
This leaves tryptophan alone, so it can make its way to the brain and cause sleepiness.Dairy foods are an excellent combination of protein and carbs and they also contain calcium which also aids tryptophan in its conversion. So having warm milk can do the trick if you can't sleep.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Metabolsim boosts

Metabolic Boosts

Don’t cut calories too low

Tip: Lose weight by cutting 250 calories a day and burning 250 calories per day through exercise. That will help retain - or even gain - muscle while you lose a greater percentage of body fat.

Do more interval training

Tip: Infuse your workout with bursts of speed. Gradually work your way up to two-minute intervals, three days a week.

Lift weights

Tip: Focus on exercises that use the largest muscles and use two-part movements. They help you build more lean mass. Favorites include squats, push-ups, and any exercise that combines upper- and lower-body.

Protein takes more calories to digest

Tip: Try to eat between 10 and 20 grams of protein at each of your meals. Eat an 8-ounce cup of low-fat cottage cheese with breakfast (about 16 grams), a 1/2-cup serving of hummus with lunch (about 10 grams), and a 3-ounce salmon fillet for dinner (about 17 grams).

Drink green tea

Tip: Try a cup of green or oolong tea in place of your morning coffee for a dose of caffeine to perk your metabolism too. Instead of milk or sweetener, add a squeeze of lemon, which may help your body absorb more catechins.

Stay hydrated

Tip: Dehydration causes us to burn up to 2 percent fewer calories since metabolic mechanisms rely on water. In the study at University of Utah those who drank either eight or twelve 8-ounce glasses of water a day had higher metabolic rates than those who had four.

Add chili powder

Tip: Capsaicin, the bioactive compound that makes chile peppers exude heat, can raise metabolism while decreasing hunger and enhancing satiety. Sprinkle red pepper flakes onto pasta dishes and into chilis and stews; fresh chile peppers work well in salsas and add a fiery flavor to many other dish

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Recommendations for Supplements

Nora's Supplement Guide

Multiple Vitamin
Vitamins are natural substances that your body needs to grow, develop, and function normally. Vitamins are available in food so a well-balanced diet usually provides all of the vitamins we need. However, there are times, such as during weight loss, pregnancy and childhood, or during certain illnesses when your body cannot get or cannot efficiently use all of the vitamins it needs.
Calcium helps prevent osteoporosis by slowing bone loss and reducing fracture.
Experts recommend a daily intake of 1,200 mg of calcium for women and in men older than age 50. Calcium is absorbed most efficiently by the body when it is taken in amounts of 500 milligrams (mg) or less. If you take 1,000 mg of calcium a day, split it in two or more doses over the course of the day.

Vitamin D
Getting enough vitamin D is just as important as getting enough calcium for prevention of osteoporosis. Together they slow bone loss and reduce fracture. Vitamin D has also been found to act hormonally as a natural antibiotic and anti viral agent. We no longer absorb enough sun to produce enough Vitamin D. Many people are deficient. Recommendation: a daily intake of between 1000 and 2000 international units.

Fish Oil
Effective for cardiovascular disease prevention. Provides omega 3 fatty acids to help decrease inflammation and decrease arthritis, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, heart disease, alzheimer’s and cancer.

Flaxseed Oil
Provides omega 3 fatty acids from a plant source.
Helps decrease inflammation and reducie the risk of arthritis, health disease, alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

Herbal Remedies
A 2006 study found that cinnamon has a moderate effect in reducing blood sugar in people with DMII. It also may help a blue mood.

Anti-inflammatory Herbs
Ginger (500 mg 2 x a day)
Tumeric (400-600 mg 3 x a day)
Red Pepper (Capsaicin)

St John’s Wort
St. John's Wort has been studied in Europe extensively. Studies suggest that it is more effective than placebo and equally effective as tricyclic antidepressants for mild-to-moderate depression. It may be as effective as SSRIs with fewer side effects.
Baby Aspirin
Aspirin interferes with the bloods clotting action. If a blood vessel is already narrowed from atherosclerosis , a blood clot can quickly form and block the artery. Aspirin therapy reduces the clumping action of platelets — possibly preventing heart attack and stroke.
Consider daily aspirin therapy only with your doctor's approval.

There are multiple studies of cranberry (juice or capsules) for the prevention of
urinary tract infections in healthy women and nursing home residents.
It seems to work by keeping bacteria from sticking to cells that line the bladder.
The dosage remains unclear.

SAMe is likely more effective than placebo for relief of symptoms of depression. Compared to treatment with conventional antidepressants, SAMe was not associated with a statistically significant difference in outcomes.
SAMe is more effective than a placebo for the relief of pain.
Compared to treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, treatment with SAMe was not associated with a statistically significant difference in outcomes.

Check with your doctor before taking any supplements.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ask the nutritionist.

Why does our increased intake of soda contribute so significantly to weight gain?
Since humans have not adapted to drinking sweet and sugary beverages, the current increase in consumption and added calories may be significantly contributing to the growing number of overweight and obese people in the United States. Both portion sizes and number of servings have increased.
Decreasing the consumption may be part of the solution. In fact presently there are two working theories as to why. They follow.
1. Humans evolved drinking breast milk and water therefore we do not have good physiological systems to metabolize other beverages. We are maladapted to digest calories from sweet juices and sodas.
2. Humans have an incomplete satiation sequence for sweetened beverages which prevents us from becoming satiated when we drink them. There is evidence that beverages send weak satiety signals. Studies of hunger, fullness, and further eating support the view that fluids are less satiating than solid foods.
One study found that when groups ate 450 calories of jelly beans or drank 450 calories of sweetened fruit drink, the group that drank the calories gained more weight. The mechanisms for this weaker compensatory response to fluids are not known.
So, drink water, a bit of coffee or tea and low fat milk.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sleep and lose weight

The minimum amount of sleep you need for weight loss is seven and a half hours a night, experts say. But the closer you can get to your ideal sleep time the better it will be.
Not getting enough sleep can increase your appetite and and weight gain.
Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates appetite.
Leptin, produced in fat cells, sends a signal to the brain when you are full.

When sleep deprived, leptin level drop, which means we don't feel as satisfied after we eat.
Less sleep causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means the appetite is stimulated, so we want more food.
The two combined set the stage for overeating, which in turn leads to weight gain.

How food affects sleepCombating insomnia through nutrition is about eating the right combination of foods in the evening, and knowing what foods to avoid.

Want to sleep more? Cut down on these.
Large meals close to bedtime
Stop liquids 90 minutes prior to bed

Eat more of these foods.
Setrotonin producing bedtime snacks
§ Among the best natural sedatives is tryptophan, an amino acid component of many plant and animal proteins. Tryptophan is one of the ingredients necessary for the body to make serotonin, the neurotransmitter best known for creating feelings of calm, and for making you sleepy. How sleepy? A 2005 study of people with chronic insomnia found that diet made a big difference. After three weeks, those who ate foods with high amounts of tryptophan with carbohydrates, or who took pharmaceutical grade tryptophan supplements had improvements on all measures of sleep … and food sources worked just as well as the supplements.
§ The trick is to combine foods that have some tryptophan with ample carbohydrate. This helps tryptophan make its way to the brain. Unfortunately, all amino acids compete for transport to the brain. Added carbohydratess cause the release of insulin, which takes the competing amino acids and incorporates them into muscle … but leaves tryptophan alone, so it can make its way to the brain and cause sleepiness.

Bedtime snack examples (each 100 to 200 calories)
Yogurt and fruit sprinkled with nuts
Cinnamon Oatmeal: 1/2 cup dry oatmeal prepared with 1/2 cup skim milk and 1/2 cup water and sprinkled with cinnamon (optional one teaspoon sugar or honey).
1 slice whole wheat toast topped with sliced tomato and one slice of turkey.
One cup skim milk with one cup grapes.
Low-fat berry sorbet
1/2 cup low-fat vanilla pudding or tapioca
Sliced apple with 1-2 teaspoons peanut butter

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Goals of Volumetric Eating

The Goal of Volumetrics
When you are trying to cut down on calories but fear hunger pangs eat this way to stay full but eat well and low calorie.
Focus on fiber-rich foods with a high moisture content. These foods include fruits (mostly fresh), vegetables (mostly those with high water content; e.g. tomatoes, broccoli, greens) whole grain pasta, rice, breads and cereals; soups, salads; low-fat poultry, seafood, meats and dairy.
Limit the amount of dry foods (crackers, popcorn, pretzels, etc.) due to their high caloric value and low satiety index.

The Four Energy Density Categories of Commonly eaten foods:
Category 1- Very Low Energy Density non starchy fruits/vegetables, nonfat milk, broth type soups
Category 2-Low Energy Density Starchy fruits/vegetables, grains, chili, spaghetti
Category 3-Medium Energy Density Meats, cheese, pizza, salad dressings, pretzels, ice cream
Category 4-High Energy Density Crackers, chips, chocolate, cookies, candy, butter and oils.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Weight gain or weight loss?

Despite the endless diets and weight loss programs Americans try we continue to gain weight and trends suggest further growth. Results from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), show that 67 percent of Americans were overweight or obese and 5.9 percent are extremely obese in 2005-2006. By 2030, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health determined that as many as 86 percent of Americans will be obese or overweight. This leads us to the wonder; will everyone in American be obese or overweight at some point in the future?

Today with our abundant food supply and sedentary ways it is hard to stay slim. Food cues, food choices and endless variety overwhelm us daily. This may be good for the food industry but it is not good for our waistlines. Human beings are triggered to eat by seeing and smelling food. We believe our eyes not our stomachs, so if we see it, we eat it and most of us will “clean the plate.” TV commercials, food ads, fast food restaurants, buffets and super sized portions all encourage an unconscious and unmistakable increase in consumption. Our stomachs can’t count and unless we weigh, measure and record most of us naturally overeat.

But there is hope. Since we all underestimate what we eat maintaining a food record helps us keep track and stay accountable. Research shows when supported in a weight loss effort people lose more weight and keep it off longer.

So clear your kitchen of food cues, turn off the TV, find a group and keep exercising. Let’s reverse this trend.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dangerous weight loss products

Tainted Weight Loss Products
Here is the FDA's full list of all 72 tainted weight loss products:
2 Day Diet
2 Day Diet Slim Advance
2x Powerful Slimming
3 Day Diet
3 Days Fit
3x Slimming Power
5x Imelda Perfect Slimming
7 Day Herbal Slim
7 Days Diet
7 Diet
7 Diet Day/Night Formula
8 Factor Diet
Eight Factor Diet
21 Double Slim
24 Hours Diet
999 Fitness Essence
Body Creator
Body Shaping
Body Slimming
Cosmo Slim
Extrim Plus
Extrim Plus 24 Hour Reburn
Fasting Diet
Fatloss Slimming
Herbal Xenicol
Imelda Fat Reducer
Imelda Perfect Slim
JM Fat Reducer
Lida DaiDaihua
Miaozi MeiMiaoQianZiJiaoNang
Miaozi Slim Capsules
Natural Model
Perfect Slim
Perfect Slim 5x
Perfect Slim Up
Phyto Shape
Powerful Slim
ProSlim Plus
Reduce Weihgt
Royal Slimming Formula
Sana Plus
Slim 3 in 1
Slim 3 in 1 Extra Slim Formula
Slim 3 in 1 Extra Slim Waist Formula
Slim 3 in 1 M18 Royal Diet
Slim 3 in 1 Slim Formula
Slim Burn
Slim Express 4 in 1
Slim Express 360
Slim Fast (This product isn't related to the Slim-Fast line of meal replacement and related products.)
Slim Tech
Slim Up
Slim Waist Formula
Slim Waistline
Slimming Formula
Super Fat Burner
Super Slimming
Trim 2 Plus
Triple Slim
Venom Hyperdrive 3.0
Waist Strength Formula
Zhen de Shou

Five more weight loss tips

1. Even if they eat the same amount of calories, people feel less guilty about over-eating “healthy” foods (like granola) than “unhealthy” foods (like chocolate).
2. Over seventy percent of what we eat is determined by the main cook in our families.
3. If you think about food you are more likely to eat it.
4. When variety increases, people eat more. For example when people were offered three different types of yogurt they ate as much as 300% more than when offered only one type.
5. A variety of foods available makes people think they will enjoy more foods.Relying on our mental resistance to change our habits is less effective than changing our environment.